US 2923494 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1960 R. A. STRONG GROUND-AIR VEHICLE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 26, 1958 INVE NTOR. 2/66 1460 A. STEO/VG Feb. 2, 1960 R. A. STRONG GROUND-AIR VEHICLE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 26, 1958 INVENTO'R. Z/Cf/AZD 4. 5780/16 ATTOE/VE) ited States Patent GROUND-AIR VEHICLE Richard A. Strong, Harlingen, Tex. Application March '26, 1958, Serial No.724,105
7 Claims. (Cl. 244-2) hicles .have never beenco-mmercially feasible because of their ungainliness and because of their complex power system which usually required two separate engines, one for ground and one for air travel. This meant that over- .ly complicated change'gear mechanism as well as various duplicate elements were necessary.
. It is one object of the present invention to' provide a ground-air vehicle which is generally simple in construction and which utilizes the same power plant for both types of travel.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a ground-air vehicle which is trim and compact for ground travel taking no greater room than many automobiles, while yet having sufficient lift surface for efficient air travel.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a ground-air vehicle which is both effective and safe either on the .ground .or. in the air.
Other .objects of the present invention are to provide an improved ground-air vehicle, of the character described, that is easily and economically produced, which is sturdy in construction, and which is highly efiicient in operation.
With the above and related objects in View, this invention consists in the details of construction and combination of parts, as will be more fully understood from the following description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
)Fig. l is a top plan view of a device embodying the pn sent invention.
.Fig. 2 is a side elevational view of the device of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a front elevational view of the device of Fig. 1.
Fig. 4 is a rear elevational view of the device of Fig. 1.
Referring now in greater detail to the drawings wherein similar reference characters refer to similar parts, there is shown a vehicle, generally designated 10, comprising a body 12, of generally streamlined shape, which encloses a chassis 14. Mounted on the chassis 14 are two front wheels 16 and 18 and two rear wheels 20 and 22. Each wheel is mounted for rotation on an axle, such as, for example, shown at 24 and 26 in Fig. 2; each of these axles being, in turn, connected to the lower yoke end of a tubular vertical shaft, indicated respectively at 28, 3t), 32 and 34. The front shafts 28 and 30 are connected at their upper ends to corresponding levers 36 and 38 which are, in turn, pivotally connected, as at 40 and 42, to corresponding ends of a cross link 44. The cross-link 44 is connected to a driving wheel .46 by a standard assembly, not shown.
nected by standard means, not shown, to the steering 7 wheel 46.
By the above-described arrangement, when the steering wheel 46 is turned in one direction or the other, both the front Wheels 16 and 18 and the rear wheels 20 and 22 are simultaneously turned so that a four-way steering is provided. This permits a smaller radius of turn for each wheel 16, 18, 20 and 22 so that the body 12 can extend uniformly down to enclose ,the wheels whereby there is 'less air drag. It also permits easier parking, better control-and fewer different parts.
At the front end of the body 12 is provided an engine housing 68 which has a wide round opening 70 at its front. Within the housing 68 is an engine '72 of the standard'type used in ordinary light airplanes. The en- .gine 72 is provided with a propeller 74 which is'positioned within the housing 68. The propeller is reversible so that the vehicle can 'be moved both forwardly and rearwardly by the engine while the vehicle is on the ground. The engine is provided with clutch means, not shown, .for connecting .it to a drive shaft 76 which is,
itself, .drivingly connected to the rear wheel assembly. By .using the clutch to connect the engine to the drive shaft '76, good traction is obtained when using the vehicle for ground travel. However, the clutch can also be .kept disengaged while using the vehicle for ground travel. In. such case, .the propeller '74 provides an air drive for thevehicle. If desired, the drive shaft and clutch may be entirely eliminated whereby both .the weightof .thevehicle and its cost are substantially decreased.
A pair of oppositely-curved ducts 78 extend from the interior of the engine housing 68 to ports 80 onthe opcally more efiicient, the bottom of the body 12 is covered 50 that it forms a slab-type fuselage with the wide, flat bottom providing a large amount of planing lift.
At the front of the fuselage formed by the body 12 there are provided ordinary headlights 84 and streamlined, tubular bumpers 86, while at the rear is provided a tail assembly 88 including a rudder 90, oppositelydisposed vertical stabilizers 92 and fiaps 94. The various parts of the tail assembly are operated from standard aircraft-control means, not shown, positioned in the cabin 95.
A pair of short, stub wings 96 are pivotally connected to the body 12, as at 98, in such manner that they can be folded down into collapsed position, as indicated in dotted outline in Fig. 3. Each of the ailerons 100 is hinged to the corresponding wing 96 along a hinge line corresponding to the line of the corresponding door 102 by means of a series .of hinge means 104. Each hinge means 104 comprises a pair of ears, one extending from the wing and one from the aileron; these cars being hingedly connected by a. hinge pin 103 positioned in a invention, what is claimed:
,haust ducts-leading, from said parallel plane to manner, when'the'wings and ailerons are in foldedposition, the axis of the hingepins 103 are parallel to the axis of the door hinge and both the door and aileron willswingout together upon opening the door.
, Inclinedslots 105 are providedin the ailerons 100 so 3 that whenthe "wings and ailerons are in extended posino obstructions at all on either side of the body'12 so i i that there is more room in traflicon the ground.
Although this invention has been described in considerable detail, such description is intended'as being illustrative rather than limiting, since the invention may be variously embodied, andthe scope of the invention is to be determined as claimed.
Having thus setforth and l. A iground-air vehicle comprising 'achassis, a body enclosing said chassis, said body having a cabin and including a closed, streamlined undercover, a pairof front wheels and a pair of rear wheels having .their major portions wrthin said undercover, a.steering mechanism the plane of the door hinge. In this 3 However the collapsible disclosed the nat 'ure of The vehicle of claim 2 ailerons arefoldable downwardlyflat'against the sides of covered fuselage bottom is relatively great, the wings 96 may be very short. Be;
operatively connected to each, pair of wheels,1an engine housing at the front end of said body, a frontopening in said engine housing, an engine and vehicle propelling propeller assembly entirely enclosed within said engine housing, a pair ofroppositely-extending streamlined exon the sides of said b ody,rand an airfoil system mounted on said body. V 2..The,vehicle' of claim 1 wherein. said airfoil system includes oppositely extending short wings and:ailerons,
engine housing to ports said ailerons being hinged to said wings inspaced rela-v tion thereto.
rear wheels, a "pair of said body. 7 A
4. The vehicle of claim l wherein said ports are provided with vertical parallel vanes spaced from each other and diagonally arranged to direct the flow of exhaust gases outwardly and rearwardly of said vehicle.
5. A ground-air vehicle comprising a fuselage-like 7 body including acabin and having an open front end, a
streamlined closed bottom and Ian aerodynamic tail assembly at its rear end, alpairof front'wheels and a pair of rear wheels having their major portions within said body and their minor portions extending therebelow, a steering wheel assembly.operatively connected to both said front and rear wheels, said open front end defining the front of antengine housing, an engine and vel hicle propelling propeller assembly within said engine housing, means to releasably connect saidengine to said streamlined exhaust ducts connecting said engine housing to. exhaust ports in opposite sides of said'body, means to direct. exhaust gases rearwardly from said exhaust ports, and a foldable wing and aileron assembly pivotally secured on each side of said 6 .'Thefvehicle1of claim 5;whereinjsaid*wing and aileron assembly comprises, a short stubwing pivotally s'ecur'ed' oneachside of said body and anaileron hingedly connected to each wing in spaced relation, thereto.
7. The'yehicleOf claim 5 wherein said exhaust ports are positioned on each side of said body and ,wherein said means to direct'jexhaust gases rearwardly: comprise vertical vanes spaced from each other and each diagonallypositioned at an angle extending outwardly and rearwardly.
' References Cited in the file of this patent i UNITED STATESPATENTS 2,609,167 Sept. 2, 1952 wherein said wings and: